When you start a beauty brand, every aspect of it, from your own unique formulations to your packaging and branding, is up for grabs. Every detail is in your hands, and even if you outsource tasks, you, as the founder, have control. If you embrace sustainability in your brand mission at the outset, it will drive every detail and decision. How much easier this is than struggling to audit a beauty business later on against sustainability principles and finding it falling short.
In this Green Beauty Opinion, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier discusses the advantages nimble, newcomer indie beauty brands have over the “oil tanker” giant firms of personal care. It will still take indie brands boundless energy, resources and resolve to be true to any founding mission to drive sustainability. However, the advantages and the market is theirs if they prepare ahead rather than retrofit sustainability into their businesses.Subscribe on iTunes Subscribe on Spotify Subscribe on YouTube New indie beauty brands have an advantage over the giants in personal care in embracing sustainability. But will they grasp the opportunity @FormulaBotanica podcast asks? #beautyindustry #indiebeauty #sustainablebeauty Click To Tweet
Consumers are increasingly calling for greater transparency from beauty brands and for them to account for their actions, especially when it comes to claims about sustainability. However, a brand that has been in business for 20, 50 or 100 years will be built on long-term relationships and have standing commitments to certain suppliers and partners.
To change packaging, for example, can mean setting in motion a decision-making process across multiple departments and have vast implications for formulations and finances. Marketing departments will ask if consumers will like the reformulations, and shareholders will want to reduce risk. We talked recently on this podcast about big beauty fighting EU proposals to limit liquid microplastics hiding in cosmetic formulations.
Lorraine acknowledges that making changes to embrace greater sustainability is complex. Some big-name conglomerates in personal care have won prestigious awards for their work in environmental and sustainability fields. We know from talking to the Responsible Mica Foundation that big beauty firms do make significant contributions to alleviating issues facing local, indigenous communities across the world.
But even if conglomerates are trying to do right by the planet and people, most still have an underlying flaw that prevents them from ever managing to be sustainable in a way that smaller brands can be. Their economic models are driven by rampant consumption and fueled by encouraging consumers to buy ever more products (the average woman has 16 beauty products on her shelf). In doing so, they are not addressing the fundamental issues that could make a seismic change to the sustainability of our planet.
Lorraine ends by asking us to seek out and support small, indie beauty brands that demonstrate, not pay lip service to, their resolve to act on sustainability. New beauty brands certainly have an advantage, but not by default. If you are a beauty brand founder, do grasp the opportunity to make a real difference by building in, not retrofitting, sustainability into all you do.Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.